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The Creator of Whose Shoes Gill Phillips speaks today at the Dementia conference

Gill PhillipsGill Phillips

Whose Shoes?® is a values-based tool / approach that looks at issues from different perspectives and triggers conversations about how services can be more person-centred and help people have a better quality of life.

We have been using the tool to help people think specifically about what it means to live with dementia, to understand that that everyone’s experiences are different and that we all need to work together for positive change.

“People learn, engage, remember and, most importantly, change their thinking and practice when they experience things for themselves.”

“People often have ‘light-bulb moments’ when they realise how it feels to receive health and care services and the impact of their own behaviour on others. “

The approach is described through the analogy of a recipe:

Key ingredients – people – all perspectives and genuine discussions about real topics. Fun and ‘light-bulb moments’. Firing people up to want to make a difference.

Examples of use in different settings, from small community venues to major international conferences.

Importance of working with people living with dementia, not just on their behalf ;

Importance of an ‘asset-based’ approach, not making assumptions about what people are capable of or their aspirations.

Working with passionate local people; engaging whole communities (including local retailers, police, W.I. etc)

Young people are important for spreading the key messages of inclusion and compassion and to reduce stigma. Gill said “It is important that people have a chance to consider the real issues, tell their own stories and take ownership.”

Social media and informal networks are being used powerfully to support people living with dementia to have a voice nationally and globally, including through our #NHSChangeDay campaign.

Concrete outcomes – people making pledges and following up with specific actions, including ‘lighting fires’ and spreading the word.

The approach is seen as authentic by people living with dementia globally.

Gill concluded by saying “A board game approach is fun and non-threatening. Each session is different, with people discussing the topics that are important to them rather than having a strict pre-set agenda. A lot of ‘co-production’ can be quite tokenistic.  Our scenarios are the voices of real people and are challenging and provocative. The best sessions are when we get a really diverse group of people. They come together as equals, contributing as individuals, not just as organisational representatives.”

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Download: Gill Phillips Presentation

6 October 2014


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